C & S Neptune 81
Keane’s SuperValu Killorglin 96
C & S NEPTUNE are in danger of getting relegated in their first season back in the Men’s Super League.
They were easily defeated by Killorglin at the Neptune Stadium on Saturday. Neptune had defeated their Kerry rivals in the first round, but on this occasion, they were out-thought, outfought, and outscored by a far hungrier side. Neptune had little appetite for battle.
Killorglin were far better, particularly in the second quarter, when they shot the lights out. Surprisingly, Neptune coach, Paul Kelleher, put his team’s loss down to their inability to match the more physical side of Killorglin’s game.
“To be honest, the second quarter murdered us, as were 17 points down at the break and were always chasing the game after that period,” said Kelleher.
“Killorglin also got a run in the physicality stakes, but, to be fair, their shooting was impeccable and, ultimately, they punished us with every clear look.”
The lack of four and five professionals in their squad has hurt Neptune in this campaign, says Kelleher.
“Killorglin have two Americans and two Bosman’s and we have a bunch of kids, with one professional, and that’s hard to match on a weekly basis, but now we have to make sure we try and get something from our closing three games,” says Kelleher.
Killorglin were buoyant after the game. Player-coach, Declan Wall, said: “We knew, coming up here, this could be our season and the lads didn’t let me down, as they played outstanding basketball and I am proud of the entire squad, in the manner they executed from start to finish.”
Darragh O’Sullivan gave Neptune the perfect start, with consecutive three-pointers, but his influence diminished with Killorglin playing stringent defence on him.
Daniel Jokubaitis’s shooting broke Neptune's hearts and Killorglin led 28-22 lead entering the second quarter.
On the restart, Killorglin played Neptune off the court. Consecutive three-pointers, from Wall and Eoin O’Sullivan, gave them a 56-39 interval lead.
Neptune never looked likely to get back in this game, despite a late O’Sullivan three-pointer reducing the deficit to 15 points. Killorglin took over, with American Shaquille Dance helping them into a 27-point lead with five minutes remaining.
Neptune were not good enough in a game of this importance.
Scorers for C & S Neptune: L Colbert 26, J Melton 11, D O’Sullivan 11.
Keane’s SuperValu Brunell: D Jokubaitis 25, S Dance 17, E O’Sullivan 12.
NEPTUNE: L Colbert, D O’Sullivan, C Heaphy, D Murray, G Walsh, G Noonan, C Heaphy, S O’Connor, J Melton, R Downey, O Connolly.
KILLORGLIN: R Fitzpatrick, E Weldon, D Jones, S Dance, D Wall, A O’Donoghue, S Lambert, E O’Sullivan, E Bogdanovic, L Croke, D Jokubaitis, E Evans.
Referees: L Cassidy (Dublin), I Friere (Dublin), M Thornhill (Cork).